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Top 10 Ways To Save Money

top 10

I wanted to share the top 10 ways to save money.  These are not rocket science, but they are really simple ways to get more out of the family budget each month. If you have used the budget tools available in our resource links, but there is not enough money left at the end of the month, try some of these money saving ideas.

1.  Make your lunch

I love to go out to eat as much as the next person. In fact leaving the office to go for a short walk and eat in a nice environment is a very welcome activity on stressful days. Eating out is not healthy or stress free for your budget however. Eating out can cost you $5 or more on any given day. If you brown bag your lunch, you can save big money and then use that extra to put towards your debt!

This simple change could net you $5+ per day you would have gone out to eat.

2.  Make your own coffee

This one bugs me a little bit. I see folks going to coffee shops daily, which costs as a minimum $2 at most shops for the inexpensive coffees. If you purchase the expensive coffee then the costs can go as high as $5 or more. Just making your own coffee each day can save upwards of $500/year!

3.  Make a list before going shopping

Making a list before going shopping will instill discipline in your shopping trip. Once the meal calendar has been created for the week using the coupons and special deals stick to the list. By sticking to the shopping list, it prevents the extra buys which can add up quickly. Remember someone in a marketing position knows the exact science of putting products on the end caps to try and entice buyers to add items to their lists.

4.  Pay off debt early

Interest kills your budget! When purchasing a car for $8,000 and taking out a loan on the car, you are not actually paying $8,000. In reality the cost is the price + the interest for the car. By getting rid of any debt with interest rates you are saving the extra money to put towards other bills, investment, or family fun.

5.  Use your local library

Did you know many libraries offer Kindle books for checkout now along with a lot of audible books in MP3 format for the iPod? Libraries have come a long way from the days of card catalog checkouts and late fees. You can actually check a book out online without ever going into some local libraries now and many libraries are connected to each other.

6.  Avoid impulse buys

When shopping do not buy something in the moment.  Emotion can grab you and take you down the road of debt and buyers remorse very quickly.  I need to avoid going into Best Buy or going camper shopping for this very reason!  Even if you see something you really want, walk away and think about it for at least the evening before going to make the purchase.  Look at your family budget and see what bucket the money would come out of for the purchase.  Does the bucket have enough money in it to make the purchase with cash?  If your answer is no, question answered.

7.  Price check before you make a purchase

The new season of your favorite shows or sporting events is about to begin and you want a new TV.  We have been saving for the past 6 months, so our envelope has the money for a new television for the house!  Do not rush to make the purchase.  If you are ready to make the purchase, look everywhere for the best price/service option.  I say service, because what if something is wrong with the product when it arrives?  Service is as important as the price, since having a good return policy is important and knowing someone will actually take care of your problem can save you hours on the phone.

Once you have identified the product, go home and do some price research.  Remember part of staying debt free and making our money work for us is to not over spend.  It does not hurt to ask your local retailer to match another price.  Sometimes if you bring in the flier or website, your local retailer will match or at least come close to that price whenever possible.

Remember time is money, so service is just as important as the product’s price.  Time = Money

8.  Go to the movies before 6PM

Imagine a family of 4 going to the movies and even a small difference such as $2-$3 per ticket savings by going early in the day instead of in the evening.  That could be a $8-$12 dollar savings just by changing the time you go to the movies.

9.  Use coupons and buy generic

Do you go to the store and buy the name brand items and what you want each week?  What if you looked at the available coupons and specials the grocery store was having and then built your weekly menu instead?  By doing this simple act we cut our grocery bill almost in half most weeks.  I say simple, but it really is work.  Each week my wife goes through the coupons and grocery store fliers to find out what our menu will be.  As a family we need to be flexible in our food choices, but it has allowed for us to save a lot on our food bill each year.

If you cannot find coupons, the next best thing is to purchase the generic products instead of the name brand.  In some cases there can be up to a $2 difference in the cost.

10.  Avoid late fees for movies – get an online membership

This is another self-explanatory one.  How often do we get busy and leave the movie on the kitchen counter until the next day?  It is just easier to pay the monthly fee and never deal with a late fee again.

If you do some of these, then you are already on your way to limiting your monthly expenses, congratulations!  Do you have some other favorites to cut costs?  Add them to the comments section or drop me a note if you have some other great ways to save.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Samantha July 23, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Had to smile at the coffee comment. It is one of those things I have never understood. I can make cheaper, better coffee at home and be in a relaxed enviroment

    • Larry Chasse July 25, 2012, 12:54 pm

      I like the relaxed environment. We have our morning coffee, which gives us some quiet time in the morning talking before our days begin.

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